I love Freecycle. If yo don't know what that is go to www.freecycle.org. All you have to do is find your state and then your area and then join. I think it is a fantastic idea and a great community resource when done right. I love the idea of giving away stuff you don't need or want and getting free stuff you need. Here is my beef with freecycle. Don't get me wrong , I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth but is it too much to ask that if you give something away that it be clean? I don't think that is asking too much. Last night I went to pick up from someone on freecycle and I kid you not I threw half of it away because it was either not what was described or it was so filthy that I knew it was not something I could clean.
Case in point. I got a deep fat fryer for free. They said it works great. I was thrilled. When I pulled it out of the bag my thrill turned to horror. The entire outside of this appliance is CAKED with grease and old oil. OMG. It literaly was slimey. The very idea of giving something like that away but not cleaning it is disgusting. Yes it can be cleaned and that is why I kept it but honestly it turns me off of freecycling. I would never give something away that was filthy. Certainly no appliance. I get that people sometimes want to just be rid of their junk but how hard is it to clean up the item before you give it to another family? I honestly feel like some people look at people who take their unwanted items as if they were walking landfills. Not really people but just garbage pickers. ( Mind you I have a lot of respect for garbage pickers. If you doubt then I challenge you to read The Tightwad Gazette)
It really made me feel like the person who gave these items away simply didn't care that they gave these items to people. People who could actually use these items and might have appreciated a little cleanliness. I won't go into the horror of opening the fryer and the smell that greeted me. Very disappointing.
My next beef came with a bag of makeup, prescription eyeglasses and USED contact cases. And a hair brush. This lot was described as bathroom stuff. Toiletries. I read that as soaps ( not used) cleaners, lotions (not used) maybe. Bathroom stuff. There was no inkling that this was someones PERSONAL Hygiene items. No clue that it was USED make up, USED contact cases and the like. Who in the world is going to use someone elses USED eye liner pencil? How about lipstick? Anyone? What are people thinking? I am sorry but there are just some things you MUST throw away. Some things you must spare the rest of the world. Namely your body fluids. I was stunned. Once again I would never give my used make up away to anyone but maybe my daughter. It is just shocking what people think is recyclable.
I love the idea of Freecycle but honestly this is enough for me to want to simply leave it to the less sqeamish. Perhaps it is just me. Perhaps I am being a baby but I kid you not there will never be a time when I use a strangers contact case or walk up to a perfect stranger and admire her shade of lipstick and ask :
" Can I have it?"
Never will there be a time when I am sitting in the airport ( or anywhere) and spy someone brushing their hair and ask:
" Can I have it?" " No really , it makes your hair look Faaaaabulous, yea I want that brush"
And lets be real. What are the odds that some perfect stranger will have your exact prescription?
It might go something like this.
So and so opens a random eyeglass container and sees a pair of glasses.
*tries them on and low and behold not only is it a perfect fit but......*
" Boy howdy! Imagine that they are my prescription! "
Yes ok the lenses can be removed and replaced with your prescription but come on. Luckily I can give them to my church and they will be sent to a third world country so that people who can actually use them might get a pair of glasses.
So in closing I am sorry if I sound ungrateful but maybe its too much to expect for people to be grateful for your old grease and used eye makeup.